SMRT, senior staff charged in metro accident that killed 2 in March

On March 24, the metro authorities acknowledged that lapses in safety protocol caused the accident.

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A view of the SMRT train station Reuters

Singapore's Attorney-General charged the Singapore Mass Rapid Transit (SMRT) company and two of its employees over a March 2016 accident that killed two employees who were carrying out repair works on the tracks. The employees charged are director of control operations Teo Wee Kiat and senior officer Lim Say Heng. They have been charged with causing death by a negligent act under the Penal Code. The company, SMRT Trains, has also been charged.

The two SMRT maintenance workers, Nasrulhudin Bin Najumudin and Muhammad Asyraf Bin Ahmad Buhari, were run over by a train near Pasir Ris station on March 22. Lim was the leader of the group of workers who were carrying out inspection works on the SMRT tracks.

On March 24, the metro authorities acknowledged that lapses in safety protocol caused the accident. The authorities said a failure following the simple procedure of coordinating with the signal unit to stop oncoming trains before workers enter the track might have caused the accident.

"Exactly how they got on to the track, or got close enough to the oncoming train, that was moving in the direction opposite to them, is the issue that we're trying to establish with the witnesses that we are trying to get detailed accounts from," SMRT CEO Desmond Kuek said.

The Attorney General's office called the accident tragic. More investigations are going on to ascertain if any other person is liable for safety lapses that led to the accident.

Meanwhile, the National Transport Workers' Union said it will provide support to Lim, who has been charged in the case. "We will also continue to gather feedback from our workers, and work with the relevant agencies, stakeholders in the industry to provide a safe working environment for our workers," a statement by the union said.